Smartphone lockdown

The GPS chips in most modern smartphones are beginning to be used in far more interesting ways.  In addition to the location based reminders that are part of Apple’s iOS 5, now there’s this pretty cool research.

http://scienceblog.com/48448/cybersecurity-breakthrough-keeps-sensitive-data-confined-in-physical-space/

I can see this technology being implemented in a lot of scenarios.  The linked article brings up some of the potential uses, like keeping military and medical records from leaving a secure location.  However, being able to restrict data access to a location is something that many people will be interested in.  Corporations can use it to keep trade secrets and meeting notes from leaking out, countries can try to keep information from leaving their borders.  It’s not just information access, though.  This could probably be adapted to specialized apps that are deleted or disabled when leaving the secured area.

There’s been some talk over the past year about the security of SCADA systems, mainly due to the Stuxnet attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.  It turns out that these systems that control very important things (like power grids) which should never be connected to the Internet, are in fact, connected to the Internet fairly often.

What if the only way to access the control systems was through a tablet/smartphone app, and that app was only accessible when a user was in the facility, or some other approved location?

I don’t know enough about SCADA to say if this is a reasonable vision of the future, but it seems like a feasible set up.

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